College Basketball Coaches Investment turns into Ponzi Scheme

The NCAA is actively looking into connections between the college coaches who invested money with David Salinas and the prospects from his summer basketball program who went on to play for them, multiple sources have told This contradicts a report from Andy Katz stating that “a high-ranking source with direct knowledge of the NCAA’s interest in the case told that the coaches invested money in the alleged scheme but that it isn’t an NCAA issue.” Salinas committed suicide at his Houston-area home Sunday amid an investigation into his businesses by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

This is definitely going an issue that the NCAA will need to further investigate. It’s easy to say, these are random coaches deciding to invest their money with someone they trusted at the time starting up his business. However taking a look at the list of some of the coaches and the players that played on Salinas AAU team, they’re many parallels to consider.

The list of coaches confirmed Sunday who had invested with Salinas included former Arizona coach Lute Olson, Baylor coach Scott Drew, Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie, former Utah coach and current Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti, Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi coach Willis Wilson, former Houston and Nevada coach Pat Foster, former Nebraska coach and current United States Merchant Marine Academy coach Danny Nee Gonzaga coach Mark Few and former Rice, Wichita State and Cornell basketball coach Scott Thompson and Augustana College coach Grey Giovanine. At least nine prospects that played for Salinas’ Houston Select summer basketball program went on to play for one of those 11 coaches in college.

The amount of dollars given to Salinas from some of the coaches’ range in the millions, I try to not to be judgmental but only three conclusions can be drawn from these developments.

  • The coaches trusted thousands to millions of dollars and naively fell for a Ponzi like scheme from Salinas.
  • The coaches used the business venture to secure players from Salinas.
  • One coach invested with Salinas, and these busy coaches trusted their colleagues’ judgment investing large sums of cash and felt comfortable with the idea.


Regardless of what we hear about this case in the future, this is another black eye to college sports. It allows us to question not alone recruiting practices by coaches, but these same coaches that are entrusted to take care of some parents 18 year old son can easily get duped for millions of dollars in a ponzi scheme. Some college football coaches also felt victim to a ponzi scheme as well. The NCAA needs to be proactive with these investigations. The college basketball game already has seen the quality of time of its game since the NBA made “One and Done” rule was put into place, now coaches personal ethics and decision making can now be further questioned and examined.

Perhaps more high school basketball seniors should consider the Brandon Jennings route to professional basketball.

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